When this picture was sent to me it gave me an strange feeling. I have seen a lot of wildlife but I had never seen a picture of an animal in the wild that I recognized. It turns out that this is the same lion as the one I saw on safari with a group I was leading when we first arrived in Samburu in 2010. We spotted two males almost immediately upon entering Samburu. I tool the photo below of the lion yawning while his brother lounged in the background. Soon after the yawn shot, the lion looked me straight in the eye as to say ‘don’t mess with me’ and in fact I was somewhat taken aback. He was looking straight through me. I was leading a group of 31 people and 14 of them were kids. I sat down and looked through the window at him and he was still looking right at me. I turned to my friend Dave who has been on a lot of safaris and he was sitting down too and said ‘did you see that.’ At that point I told our driver to take off along with the rest of the safari vehicles. We drove on and soon came across a leopard in a tree-an incredible first half an hour in Samburu. Without realizing it, one of the vehicles took off from the leopard scene and went back to see the lions. Later, at the lodge, we learned that they got back to the lions and the lions were hunting. They watched as one brother took off while the other waited by a ravine. A few minutes later a herd of impala came storming through having been flushed out by the lion who had disappeared. The other lion was laying in wait and pounced killing an impala out of site in the ravine. Obviously when we first got to the lion scene originally we had interrupted their hunting plans.
I just located this picture tonight and was excited to find it buried in my files. The crescent scar and wart on the nose confirm that its the same lion that Jeff, Mary, and Tiffany saw on their safari. One bad boy.
Before he stared me down I was taking yawn shots and got this one.